Once upon a time I could think of no better way to spend a Saturday evening than with a good dose of trashy tv and one of Tesco's finest Florentines.
You could keep your cookies, your crisps and cakes, I craved something caramelised, crunchy, and slathered in chocolate.
And then? Then candied peel happened.
I was on holiday. I was hungry. I saw Florentine, I ate Florentine.
And nearly choked at the fact that such a glorious thing had been tainted with something so manufactured and...weird.
Turns out that actually, most Florentine recipes include candied peel, and since that horrific day [I take my sugar-obsession seriously thank you] I've not really touched them.
Until, that is, I stumbled upon a recipe for 'Florentine Slices' in yet another of our crumbling and hilariously dated St Michael's recipe books. I have to admit that these aren't the crisp, nutty treats I used to love, but the generous layer of chocolate and crisped up coconut definitely make this worth it.
Not to mention the distinct lack of candied peel.
Preheat the oven to 150 C // 300 F // GM 2
Break the chocolate into a bowl and melt gently over just-boiled water in a heat proof bowl.
Once melted and glossy, pour into a greaseproof-lined [not "well greased" as I did...that failed -more later!] baking tray about 7 x 7 inches.
Is there really any sight in the world better than this?
Anyway, chocolate ogling over, set the tray aside and mix together the butter and sugar in a bowl.
Beat the egg and stir thoroughly into the sugar mixture.
Next, chop the glace cherries and add them to the mixture along with the dried fruit and coconut. Mix well.
Spoon the mixture gently onto the chocolate, spreading evenly and lightly compressing.
Pop into the oven for a good 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to cool for five minutes before slicing, then leave in the tin to cool completely before removing and serving [I found it set better when chilled in the fridge after slicing].
Oh, and the greasing disaster? Well...I might not advise it, but I can't say I'm complaining over the cleanup.